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Cause and Effect Essay - McDonald's Causes More Deaths than Terrorists

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Cause and Effect Essay - McDonald's Causes More Deaths than Terrorists


It was probably inevitable that one day people would start suing McDonald's
for making them fat. That day came this summer, when New York lawyer Samuel
Hirsch filed several lawsuits against McDonald's, as well as four other
fast-food companies, on the grounds that they had failed to adequately
disclose the bad health effects of their menus. One of the suits involves a
Bronx teenager who tips the scale at 400 pounds and whose mother, in papers
filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, said, "I always believed
McDonald's food was healthy for my son."

Uh-huh. And the tooth fairy really put that dollar under his pillow. But
once you've stopped sniggering at our litigious society, remember that it
once seemed equally ludicrous that smokers could successfully sue tobacco
companies for their addiction to cigarettes. And while nobody is claiming
that Big Macs are addictive -- at least not yet -- the restaurant industry
and food packagers have clearly helped give many Americans the roly-poly
shape they have today. This is not to say that the folks in the food
industry want us to be fat. But make no mistake: When they do well
economically, we gain weight.

It wasn't always thus. There was a time when a
trip to McDonald's seemed like a treat and when a small bag of French fries,
a plain burger and a 12-ounce Coke seemed like a full meal. Fast food wasn't
any healthier back then; we simply ate a lot less of it.

How did today's oversized appetites become the norm? It didn't happen by
accident or some inevitable evolutionary process. It was to a large degree
the result of consumer manipulation. Fast food's marketing strategies, which
make p...


... middle of paper ...


...d McDonald's
just suffered its first quarterly loss since the company went public 47
years ago.

The obvious direction to go is down, toward what nutritional policymakers
are calling "smart-sizing." Or at least it should be obvious, if food
purveyors cared as much about helping Americans slim down as they would have
us believe. Instead of urging Americans to "Get Active, Stay Active" --
Pepsi Cola's new criticism-deflecting slogan -- how about bringing back the
6.5-ounce sodas of the '40s and '50s? Or, imagine, as Critser does, the day
when McDonald's advertises Le Petit Mac, made with high-grade beef, a
delicious whole-grain bun and hawked by, say, Serena Williams. One way or
another, as Americans wake up to the fact that obesity is killing nearly as
many citizens as cigarettes are, jumbo burgers and super-size fries will
seem like less of a bargain.


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